Are these people "robots"?

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ateista

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In another thread the problem of “free will” came up - yet again. When I suggested that a loving God should interfere (not necesserily explictly) in certain sitiuations, it was asserted that interference would remove our “free will” and would turn us into “robots”.

Of course that is cock-and-bull arguement. If a human sees an attempted rape and interferes; that is praised as a proper and moral action. Sure he “interferes” with the desire of the rapist to carry out his act, but that is a very small price to pay - especially as the victim is concerned. So to allow unbridled “free will” is a bad policy. Why should the “free will” of the rapist be allowed and the desire of the victim not to be raped - be neglected?

One solution comes to mind is to remove the ability to performs certain actions - make them physically impossible to perform. That would not interfere with the person’s desire to carry out certain actions, so their freedom to “wish” something would not be impaired. It would just be a futile “desire”. I might desire to float in the air, but gravity prevents me from doing so. Can anyone seriously argue that my “free will” is now impaired?

Another solution would be to remove even the “desire” of doing something improper, so not even the “wish to act immorally” would pop into the mind. That sounds like “brainwashing”, but is it really?

We all know that there are many people who have a nice, positive disposition toward others, who are genuinely helpful and caring. They know about the good choices they can make and know about the bad ones, too. They invariably choose the moral ones, and discard the immoral ones. They do not want to make the bad choices.

Are there people “robots”?
 
I don’t agree that (a) God does not interfere, ever, or (b) that any such interference violates free will. God’s interest in free will, in the end, is about one’s “life choice,” and that life choice is not necessarily violated by any single restriction.
 
Another solution would be to remove even the “desire” of doing something improper, so not even the “wish to act immorally” would pop into the mind. That sounds like “brainwashing”, but is it really?
Ultimately free will is about choosing to love God or choosing not to love Him. Part of the way we show that we love Him (or not) lies in our sinning. We either give in to the temptation or resist it. Therefore, if the removal of the “wish to act immorally” (which also includes NOT loving God, since that is immoral) were to take place, then we remove the occasion to sin, thus removing any choice in the matter. In my opinion, that does sound a bit robot-ish.

God wants us to choose to love him, not force us to. Just like us, we all want to be loved, but it is so much better when the other person loves us even though they didn’t have to.
 
I don’t agree that (a) God does not interfere, ever, or (b) that any such interference violates free will. God’s interest in free will, in the end, is about one’s “life choice,” and that life choice is not necessarily violated by any single restriction.
I agree with you. So why did God not create only people with a healthy aversion to evil acts? There would be no need to prohibit evil deeds, nor would there be a need to make evil acts physically impossible and the world would be a much better place. I, for one, would not miss the murders, rapes, genocides and other atrocities.

I certainly don’t know if God interferes or not… but looking at the world, he does not interfere frequently.
 
Ultimately free will is about choosing to love God or choosing not to love Him. Part of the way we show that we love Him (or not) lies in our sinning. We either give in to the temptation or resist it. Therefore, if the removal of the “wish to act immorally” (which also includes NOT loving God, since that is immoral) were to take place, then we remove the occasion to sin, thus removing any choice in the matter. In my opinion, that does sound a bit robot-ish.

God wants us to choose to love him, not force us to. Just like us, we all want to be loved, but it is so much better when the other person loves us even though they didn’t have to.
With the exception of the bolded text I agree with you.
 
What is wrong with the bolded text?
Ah, sorry, I did not elaborate. If not loving God is immoral (or sinful), and God commands us to avoid sin (or act morally) - which he does, than he commands us to love him. And that would be coercion. Do you see what I mean?

If loving God is desirable only if it is freely given, then it cannot be sinful not to love God.

Though, on second thought I see other problems with the post in question. I did not suggest that God should remove the temptations - contrary to what the poster said.

I suggested that God could make everyone just like those people who see the temptations and freely avoid them. Admittedly, the world would be less “colorful” if only decent, loving, caring people would exist, but I sure would not miss the scoundrels, cheaters, robbers, liars, murderers, rapists, (also lawyers and politicians ;)) etc… Would you?
 
I agree with you. So why did God not create only people with a healthy aversion to evil acts? There would be no need to prohibit evil deeds, nor would there be a need to make evil acts physically impossible and the world would be a much better place. I, for one, would not miss the murders, rapes, genocides and other atrocities.

I certainly don’t know if God interferes or not… but looking at the world, he does not interfere frequently.
What is our existence in a fallen state in a time-bound and “decaying” world for?

We are as we are now to “learn” the consequences of sin. In a personal, “national”, and humankind way, we have lessons to learn and it is our job (in those “groups” listed above) to learn to choose God or not learn and NOT choose God.

If God had simply “fixed” us when our first parents initially sinned, He would have removed the consequences of our free will choice to do so, and thereby negated the “complementary other half” of free will, which is “chosen consequence”.

With rights (free will) come responsibilities (learning from the ugliness/attractiveness of sin).
 
What is our existence in a fallen state in a time-bound and “decaying” world for?

We are as we are now to “learn” the consequences of sin. In a personal, “national”, and humankind way, we have lessons to learn and it is our job (in those “groups” listed above) to learn to choose God or not learn and NOT choose God.

If God had simply “fixed” us when our first parents initially sinned, He would have removed the consequences of our free will choice to do so, and thereby negated the “complementary other half” of free will, which is “chosen consequence”.

With rights (free will) come responsibilities (learning from the ugliness/attractiveness of sin).
I am not sure how this answers my question. Do you think that to have free will in the genuinely good people presupposes to have “bad examples” in front of them? If this is what you suggest (and I am not sure it is) that would lead to the conclusion that “your” free will is contingent upon “my” sinful behavior. And that would be very strange indeed.
 
I am not sure how this answers my question. Do you think that to have free will in the genuinely good people presupposes to have “bad examples” in front of them? If this is what you suggest (and I am not sure it is) that would lead to the conclusion that “your” free will is contingent upon “my” sinful behavior. And that would be very strange indeed.
No. Free will is composed of TWO things: The ability of free choice (in some manner) and the “ability” to receive the consequences of one’s choices.

If there is no “ability to choose”, there are no real consequences of choice.

If there is no “reception of consequences”, there is no real free will, as the difference between “free will” and “not free will” would be nothing and would look exactly alike. (If a thing is exactly like it’s (contradictory) non-thing, that thing doesn’t exist.)
 
Ah, sorry, I did not elaborate. If not loving God is immoral (or sinful), and God commands us to avoid sin (or act morally) - which he does, than he commands us to love him. And that would be coercion. Do you see what I mean?
No I don’t see what you mean. Why is does a “command” imply coersion. Is not a stop sign a command to stop at the intersection where it is placed? What coersion exists? Are you not free to obey or not? Obviously there are consequences of not obeying - but none of them force you to stop, as evidenced by numerous crashes in which one, or more of the drivers involved failed to obey a stop sign.
 
Hi ateista

Back again.
Are there people “robots”?
Yes. A robot is a programmed entity. It can act only as its programmer allows it. The entire animal kingdom is programmed to act in specific, pre-ordained, automatic ways. It’s called instinct. For God to, as you suggest, eliminate the ability of man to choose between options (moral or not), would be to program man to act in pre-ordained, automatic ways. Man would, like the rest of the animal kingdom, become, not rational, but instinctual.

Hence, he would become a robot.
 
I agree with you. So why did God not create only people with a healthy aversion to evil acts? There would be no need to prohibit evil deeds, nor would there be a need to make evil acts physically impossible and the world would be a much better place. I, for one, would not miss the murders, rapes, genocides and other atrocities.
So you’re asking why didn’t God make a world without evil (whatever the mechanism)? Otherwise, even if people could not or would not commit any evil at all, there’s still plenty of evil (or suffering, if you wish) about. Manmade evil is not the only evil.
 
No. Free will is composed of TWO things: The ability of free choice (in some manner) and the “ability” to receive the consequences of one’s choices.

If there is no “ability to choose”, there are no real consequences of choice.

If there is no “reception of consequences”, there is no real free will, as the difference between “free will” and “not free will” would be nothing and would look exactly alike. (If a thing is exactly like it’s (contradictory) non-thing, that thing doesn’t exist.)
It is a given that every action has it consequences - it is a physical law. I still don’t know what your problem is. Maybe it is my fault.

I stipulated that good people have the freedom to choose and obviously they will have to accept the consequences of their choices. What is the problem with this scenario?
 
No I don’t see what you mean. Why is does a “command” imply coersion. Is not a stop sign a command to stop at the intersection where it is placed? What coersion exists? Are you not free to obey or not? Obviously there are consequences of not obeying - but none of them force you to stop, as evidenced by numerous crashes in which one, or more of the drivers involved failed to obey a stop sign.
Every command (as opposed to advice) is based on force. The state has the power to punish you for disobeying the traffic laws, even if failing to stop at the stop sign does not end in an accident. That is the nature of a command (any command): “obey or else”. The mafia (overwhelming force) can put a gun at your head and commands you to do something. Are you “free” to disregard that command? Or is it coercion?

In a sense, yes, we are free not to obey a command, if we can reasonably expect that we can get away with it. But that hope does not exist with God, does it? A command from God - for a believer - is not something that can be “neglected”. If God commands you: “love me or suffer eternal damnation” - I don’t know how you can deny that coercion was involved.
 
Hi ateista

Back again.
Nice to see you!
Yes. A robot is a programmed entity. It can act only as its programmer allows it. The entire animal kingdom is programmed to act in specific, pre-ordained, automatic ways. It’s called instinct. For God to, as you suggest, eliminate the ability of man to choose between options (moral or not), would be to program man to act in pre-ordained, automatic ways. Man would, like the rest of the animal kingdom, become, not rational, but instinctual.

Hence, he would become a robot.
Wait a second. That is not what I said. The good people I was talking about do have the freedom to choose incorrectly, they simply do not want to. Let me give an example: as far as I know Catholics hold Mother Theresa in very high regard. Do you assert that she was just a robot who played out her “script”?

You know, if you had said that God is just a robot, I would have agreed with you. According to believers God is unable to to lie, to commit evil, or anything that goes against his nature. Now, that is an excellent description of a robot…
 
So you’re asking why didn’t God make a world without evil (whatever the mechanism)? Otherwise, even if people could not or would not commit any evil at all, there’s still plenty of evil (or suffering, if you wish) about. Manmade evil is not the only evil.
Yes, that is exactly my question (one of them).

Humans would still have the ability to commit evil acts, they simply would not want to do so. They could love or not love God, without worrying about repercussions. There would be no heaven or hell, since heaven could be construed as a “bribe” to elicit love (or “buy” love) and hell would be a “punishment” for not loving God - both violating of the freedom of choice.
 
According to believers God is unable to to lie, to commit eveil, or anything that goes against his nature. Now, that is an excellent description of a robot…
The Lord cannot lie, as light cannot cause darkness.

Evil is the absence of good, and whereas we have God to sustain US, even when we sin against Him; since He is goodness itself, He cannot be absent of Himself 👍
 
Love for God is not commanded as a matter of force. It is demanded as a matter of justice. The wise man recognizes that without God, he is nothing. The just man responds to this by loving Him through Whom everything is given.

– Mark L. Chance.
 
Yes, that is exactly my question (one of them).

Humans would still have the ability to commit evil acts, they simply would not want to do so. They could love or not love God, without worrying about repercussions. There would be no heaven or hell, since heaven could be construed as a “bribe” to elicit love (or “buy” love) and hell would be a “punishment” for not loving God - both violating of the freedom of choice.
Wanting or not wanting to commit evil is not something God can control in us. He can give us His grace, and show us the goodness of living in the light, but he cannot force it. That is the nature of free will. So you see, the propensity towards evil is a product of our existence. If you are trying to envisage a world where no one does evil, then 👍, that’s also what Jesus Christ came to make reality, but it is not something that comes with a click of the fingers, since free will necessitates choice.
 
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